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[uh b-zur-vuh nt] /əbˈzɜr vənt/
quick to notice or perceive; alert.
looking at, watching, or regarding attentively; watchful.
careful in the observing of a law, custom, religious ritual, or the like.
an observer of law or rule.
(initial capital letter). Also, Observantine
[ob-zur-vuh n-tin, -teen] /ɒbˈzɜr vən tɪn, -ˌtin/ (Show IPA)
. a member of a Franciscan order that observes the strict rule of St. Francis.
Origin of observant
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < French, present participle of observer. See observe, -ant
Related forms
observantly, adverb
unobservant, adjective
unobservantly, adverb
1. perceptive. 2. attentive, heedful, mindful, aware. 3. obedient.
1. dull, slow. 2. heedless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for observantly
Historical Examples
  • From its beginning to its close he has regarded it observantly.

  • He questioned you so gently, yet with such an air of right; he listened so observantly and sympathetically.

    Mercy Philbrick's Choice Helen Hunt Jackson
  • As he approached, Coats eyed Baird quite as gravely and observantly as Edward had done.

    Nobody's Child Elizabeth Dejeans
  • Jean-Marie, I trust you are observantly following my various steps; this is an excellent piece of education for you.

    The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The slim, girlish figure blocked their way; the great dark eyes were fixed upon them observantly.

    Ashton Kirk, Secret Agent John T. McIntyre
  • Again came that expressive jerk of the head, and his small bright eyes regarded me more shrewdly and observantly than ever.

    The Red Symbol John Ironside
  • At first the men could not fathom his motives, but as men do, they silently and observantly waited for the real motive to emerge.

    The Doctor Ralph Connor
  • The Tsar looked intently and observantly into Kutuzov's eye waiting to hear whether he would say anything more.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • We forget precisely who it was that so observantly said to another, "Much learning doth make thee mad."

    By Advice of Counsel Arthur Train
  • He had seen them as soon as he had crossed the railroad track; looked at them closely and observantly as he came on.

    Nobody's Child Elizabeth Dejeans
British Dictionary definitions for observantly


paying close attention to detail; watchful or heedful
adhering strictly to rituals, ceremonies, laws, etc
Derived Forms
observantly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for observantly



1590s, from observe + -ant, or else from French observant, past participle of observer (see observance). In reference to Judaism, from 1902. As a noun from late 15c. Related: Observantly; observantness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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